Veloster N dead, Porsche aims for Pikes Peak record, Lamborghini’s style will only get wilder

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Cameron Neveu

R.I.P. Hyundai Veloster N

Intake: Alas, the bell tolls for one of the modern-day greats. The Korean news site Hankyung is reporting that Hyundai is preparing to cease production of the Veloster N globally, as early as next month. (We’ve reached out to Hyundai for official confirmation and will update this story if and when we hear back.) While disappointing, the news isn’t surprising: The Veloster N was the only variant of the oddball three-door still in production as of the 2022 model year. (It was a four-door only if you count the trunk.) Because of a variety of factors, including shifting preferences in the global market and the arrival of the Elantra N sedan, with which the Veloster N shared a 275-hp turbo four cylinder and six-speed manual, the Veloster N had a lot working against it. Even more damning, the Veloster moved just 2112 units in North America in 2021, down from 7591 the year prior (that’s lumping N and regular models together). By comparison, the Elantra moved 124,422 units. While it’s likely that only a fraction of those sales were Elantra Ns, having multiple models competing for the same shrinking buyer base is a tough sell. By numbers alone, the N treatment makes more sense for the Elantra than it ever did for the Veloster.

Exhaust: None of the reasons mentioned above make this news any less disappointing if you’re fans of rowdy little ripsnorters. Our own Sam Smith summed it up perfectly: “The Veloster N was one of the great hot hatches of our time—indeed, of any age. No one bought it, and we are lesser for its departure. This is just proof that we, as an American driving public, cannot have nice things. Unless they are Hellcats, which, of course, I am for.” Our hopes now lie with the Elantra N, the final stunner from the Hyundai era of ex-BMW M’s R&D great Albert Biermann.

Porsche aims for Pikes Peak’s rarest air with 911 Turbo S

Porsche 911 Turbo S Pikes Peak challenger
Porsche

Intake: Porsche is shooting for the production-car title at Colorado’s Pike Peak as well as the outright record. Three-time King of the Mountain David Donner will have Bentley’s 2019 time in his sights when he takes to the hill on June 26, while Ken Block and his pink Hoonipagsus aims to topple the VW ID.R from the top. Donner set the production-car record in 2014 with a 991-era 911 Turbo S and will seek to reclaim the honor in a 992 Turbo S specced with the Lightweight Package. The car is owned by Porsche collector Jim Edwards and wears the number 000 along with a unique “Print Isn’t Dead” livery designed by luxury Porsche magazine 000. In order to take the title from Rhys Millen and his Bentley Continental GT, Donner will have to do better than 10 minutes 18.488 seconds on the climb to the mountain’s 14,115-foot peak.

Exhaust: The 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is gearing up to be one of its most breathtaking ever. Among the other carmakers going big on the hill will be Acura which is fielding five new Integras and two NSX Type S models–one of which will be driven by Renee Brinkerhoff, who is swapping her globe-trotting Porsche 356 for the mid-engined Acura. You can follow all the action for free on the Mobil 1 Facebook page.

Lamborghini’s electric cars “will still look like spaceships”

Lamborghini Huracán Technica
Lamborghini | philipprupprecht

Intake: Fear not, the future of Lamborghini is anything but dull. Despite being powered by electricity, “They will always look like spaceships, always be inspiring, always cars that with whatever technology they have will have the sound and the emotion to touch you,” design chief Mitja Borkert told Autocar. As the company moves first to hybrid and, ultimately, to pure EVs Borkert thinks the technology will actually provide an opportunity for even more radical design. Having no exhaust to deal with, for example, means “we can use that area for aero in a very cool way,” he added.

Exhaust: The Lamborghini line-up will be hybrid in 2023 with the first fully-electric Raging Bull arriving within the following five years. They might get a little quieter, but you can bet they’ll get even faster and, thankfully, even more spectacular to look at.

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